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Over the summer, a lot of strikers from Italian clubs were being linked with moves to the Premier League. Players like Paulo Dybala, Patrick Schick and Andrea Belotti were all being targeted by big names like Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool but none of those moves went through. These rumours refuse to die down, and with the winter window coming up, a new name has been added to the list – Mauro Icardi.
The Inter Milan captain may be tempted to test new waters in England but the Serie A side may not be too keen on parting ways with their gem. In an attempt to ward off interest from clubs, Inter have slapped a hefty £100m price tag on Icardi but then no amount ever seems to be too much for the Premier League or any other league, for that matter.
A host of clubs are interested in Icardi but Chelsea could be the ideal destination for the prolific frontman. The Blues did add Alvaro Morata to their ranks in the summer but they continue to miss Diego Costa’s presence up front. The unceremonious departure may have grabbed all the headlines but Chelsea really do need a player like him. In Icardi, they will get a better player than Costa.
Equipped with better pace and mobility, Icardi seems to check all the points that Conte looks for in a striker. The player also has an eye for scoring goals – a fact that will interest the Italian manager. As of now, Morata has made a lukewarm impact at Chelsea. He can do a lot better and perhaps the presence of someone like Icardi could instigate him to do better.
Also, Icardi can forge a formidable attacking partnership with Eden Hazard to truly strengthen Chelsea’s counter-attacking runs. Moreover, at the age of 24, he still has several years of top-class football ahead of him. Hence, even if Inter Milan demand an astronomical amount, there is no doubt that Roman Abramovic would be happy to look at it as a long-term investment.
However, Icardi’s inclusion could spell trouble for the likes of Pedro, Willian and Michy Batshuayi. They have been rotated heavily so far, and that may seem like a luxury for Conte but it is eating away at their time on the field. Batshuayi was linked with an exit over the summer, and if Chelsea end up signing Icardi, they might have to bid goodbye to Batshuayi – which may not be such a bad idea.